Eternal Perspectives

We are often pressed with the reality of eternity only when a loved one dies. Or when we grow old and begin to realize that most of life has passed and we note with regret the little we have done for eternity, the little we will take with us there, and the short time left to do much of significance for heaven’s sake. Most of us live as though this world is where we are rewarded, and happiness, satisfaction, fulfillment, and prosperity not only can be ours here and now but should be.

~ Joseph Stowell [Eternity]

Streams in The Desert

There We Saw the Giants

There we saw the giants ~ Num 13:33

Yes, they saw the giants, but Caleb and Joshua saw God! Those who doubt say, “We be not able to go up.” Those who believe say, “Let us go up at once and possess it, for we are well able.”

Giants stand for great difficulties; and giants are stalking everywhere. They are in our families, in our churches, in our social life, in our own hearts; and we must overcome them or they will eat us up, as these men of old said of the giants of Canaan.

The men of faith said, “They are bread for us; we will eat them up.” In other words, “We will be stronger by overcoming them than if there had been no giants to overcome.”

Now the fact is, unless we have the overcoming faith we shall be eaten up, consumed by the giants in our path. Let us have the spirit of faith that these men of faith had, and see God, and He will take care of the difficulties.

~ Selected

It is when we are in the way of duty that we find giants. It was when Israel was going forward that the giants appeared. When they turned back into the wilderness they found none.

There is a prevalent idea that the power of God in a human life should lift us above all trials and conflicts. The fact is, the power of God always brings a conflict and a struggle. One would have thought that on his great missionary journey to Rome, Paul would have been carried by some mighty providence above the power of storms and tempests and enemies. But, on the contrary, it was one long, hard fight with persecuting Jews, with wild tempests, with venomous vipers and all the powers of earth and hell, and at last he was saved, as it seemed, by the narrowest margin, and had to swim ashore at Malta on a piece of wreckage and barely escape a watery grave.

Was that like a God of infinite power? Yes, just like Him. And so Paul tells us that when he took the Lord Jesus Christ as the life of his body, a severe conflict immediately came; indeed, a conflict that never ended, a pressure that was persistent, but out of which he always emerged victorious through the strength of Jesus Christ.

The language in which he describes this is most graphic. “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed, always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be manifested in our body.”

What a ceaseless, strenuous struggle! It is impossible to express in English the forcible language of the original. There are five pictures in succession. In the first, the idea is crowding enemies pressing in from every side, and yet not crushing him because the police of heaven cleared the way just wide enough for him to get through. The literal translation would be, “We are crowded on every side, but not crushed.”

The second picture is that of one whose way seems utterly closed and yet he has pressed through; there is light enough to show him the next step. The Revised Version translates it, “Perplexed but not unto despair.” Rotherham still more literally renders it, “Without a way, but not without a by-way.”

The third figure is that of an enemy in hot pursuit while the divine Defender still stands by, and he is not left alone. Again we adopt the fine rendering of Rotherham, “Pursued but not abandoned.”

The fourth figure is still more vivid and dramatic. The enemy has overtaken him, has struck him, has knocked him down. But it is not a fatal blow; he is able to rise again. It might be translated, “Overthrown but not overcome.”

Once more the figure advances, and now it seems to be even death itself, “Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus.” But he does not die, for “the life also of Jesus” now comes to his aid and he lives in the life of another until his life work is done.

The reason so many fail in this experience of divine healing is because they expect to have it all without a struggle, and when the conflict comes and the battle wages long, they become discouraged and surrender. God has nothing worth having that is easy. There are no cheap goods in the heavenly market. Our redemption cost all that God had to give, and everything worth having is expensive. Hard places are the very school of faith and character, and if we are to rise over mere human strength and prove the power of life divine in these mortal bodies, it must be through a process of conflict that may well be called the birth travail of a new life. It is the old figure of the bush that burned, but was not consumed, or of the Vision in the house of the Interpreter of the flame that would not expire, notwithstanding the fact that the demon ceaselessly poured water on it, because in the background stood an angel ever pouring oil and keeping the flame aglow.

No, dear suffering child of God, you cannot fail if only you dare to believe, to stand fast and refuse to be overcome.

~ Tract

Daily Strength for Daily Needs

And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
~ Mark 11:25-26

’Tis not enough to weep my sins,  
’Tis but one step to heaven:  

When I am kind to others, then  
I know myself forgiven.  
~ F. W. FABER

Every relation to mankind, of hate or scorn or neglect, is full of vexation and torment. There is nothing to do with men but to love them; to contemplate their virtues with admiration, their faults with pity and forbearance, and their injuries with forgiveness. Task all the ingenuity of your mind to devise some other thing, but you never can find it. To hate your adversary will not help you; to kill him will not help you; nothing within the compass of the universe can help you, but to love him. But let that love flow out upon all around you, and what could harm you? How many a knot of mystery and misunderstanding would be untied by one word spoken in simple and confiding truth of heart! How many a solitary place would be made glad if love were there; and how many a dark dwelling would be filled with light!  
~ ORVILLE DEWEY

Eternal Perspectives

If heaven had a daily newspaper, the headlines would read quite differently than our earthly tabloids. 

HEAVEN’S HEADLINES: 

Keeping You Informed about Significant Events on Earth 
Kathy S.* Changes 10,000th Diaper 
Rod K.* Mows Neighbor’s Grass 
Tony P.* Gets Saved; Starts Tithing 
Max M.* Delivers Brownies to Enemy 
Dan B.* Changes Tire for Stranded Motorist 
Gayle H.* Takes Meal to Sick Person 
Unnamed Widow Puts Last Two Coins in Treasury Box 

(*Last names are omitted until rewards are handed out in heaven.)

~ Kent Crockett, [Making Today Count for Eternity]

Daily Quiet Time

As thy days, so shall thy strength be.
~ Deut 33:25

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

~ Phil 4:13

He will not impose upon you one needless burden. He will not exact more than He knows your strength will bear. He will ask no Peter to come to Him on the water, unless He impart at the same time strength and support on the unstable waves. He will not ask you to draw water if the well is too deep, or to withdraw the stone if too heavy. But neither at the same time will He admit as an impossibility that which, as a free and responsible agent, it is in your power to avert. He will not regard as your misfortune what is your crime.

~ Macduff

Eternal Inheritance

Scripture Reading: Hebrews 9:15-22
For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance. . . .
~ Hebrews 9:15
When we think of an inheritance, we usually think about something a person receives from a relative or friend who has died. The inheritance is given as part of the deceased person’s last will and testament.
Hebrews tells us that as a result of Christ’s death, “those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance.” This inheritance is the “eternal salvation” and “eternal redemption” we heard about earlier in Hebrews 5:9 and 9:12.
Some people have described the “new covenant” in Christ in terms of a “last will and testament.” In some ways the language used here in Hebrews sounds like that of a last will and testament, especially when it talks about an inheritance.
In order for someone to receive an inheritance, a person has to have died. For us to receive “the promised eternal inheritance,” Jesus died for our sake. The idea that inheritance is tied to death is not only for the new covenant. In the old covenant there was also death: the death of sacrificed animals. Now that Christ has died for us, he has established the new covenant in his blood so that we can receive “the promised eternal inheritance.”
Think of it! Because of Jesus’ death for our sake, we have eternal life with him as our inheritance. And in Christ that new life begins even now! 
Lord God, thank you for the inheritance of eternal life with you because of Jesus’ death for us. Amen. 
~ Brian Kuyper